Pharmacy network and access to medicines in selected eastern European countries: comparative analysis
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Aim To analyze the pharmacy network (structure and resources) in Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia and its relation to public expenditures for medicines. Methods We performed a cross-sectional study using the officially published data for the period 2003-2008 in four selected countries. Data sources were relevant national institutions. Results In 2008, Serbia had 27.5, Bulgaria 66.8, Croatia 59.5, and Slovenia 71.2 pharmacists per 100000 inhabitants. There was a significant difference in the number of pharmacists per 100000 inhabitants between all countries except between Bulgaria and Slovenia. The number of inhabitants per one pharmacy was significantly different between all observed countries. The expenditures for medicines per capita in 2008 were between (sic)30.34 in Bulgaria to (sic)137.03 in Slovenia, with a significant difference between all countries except between Bulgaria and Serbia. The number of pharmacists per 100000 inhabitants and expenditures for medicines per cap...ita were positively correlated in all observed countries, except in Bulgaria. Conclusion There were significant difference in the structure and availability of the pharmacy service in all selected countries. Expenditures for medicines were positively correlated with the number of pharmacists in all countries, except in Bulgaria. Our findings could be valuable to national regulatory bodies for the creation of national drug policies.
Source:Croatian Medical Journal, 2012, 53, 1, 53-59
- Medicinska Naklada, Zagreb